Taxonomy

Ampelis Riefferii Boissonneau, 1840, "Bogotá", Colombia.

Closely related to P. intermedia, and has been treated as conspecific; in addition to differences in plumage (especially tail colour), however, the two overlap in range in C Peru and in some areas occur together, although they differ in attitudinal range. Distinctive race tallmanorum, from outlying mountains E of main Andean range, may merit species status. Race confusa possibly better merged with chachapoyas. Six subspecies recognized (Snow 2004).

Diagnostic description

Male 

Male nominate race has 

  • hood blackish-green down to chest, 
  • collar hood bordered by yellow  (except on nape) 
  • nape -
    • green above
    • white tips of tertials
    • yellow below
    • green streaks increasingly denser towards flanks
  • iris - dark red-brown; 
  • bill - bright red; 
  • legs - red or orange-red

Distinguished from similar P. intermedia mainly by plainer tail and less patterned underparts.

Female

  • no hood or collar, has 
  • head and forebody to breast plain green

Juvenile 

  • is dark olive-green above 
  • dull olive with yellow streaks below; 
  • adult plumage apparently acquired soon after fledging
Other races

Races differ mainly in 

  • size
  • shade of hood and amount of 
  • green markings on underparts of male

 Melanolaema has more 

  • contrasting wings, more 
  • solid yellow on central underparts
  • male hood glossy black (not greenish)
  • female has ill-defined yellow collar

Other species

  • occidentalis male has throat and chest washed greenish, pale tertial tips less marked
  • chachapoyas is small, male hood black, underparts well marked with green streaks
  • confusa is like last, but male with more greenish upper breast and more strongly marked central underparts
  •  tallmanorum is smallest, has brighter red eyes, male has glossiest black hood, unmarked yellow lower breast and belly, female lower underparts broadly streaked green (Snow 2004)